How to develop a business card: the ultimate guide

It’s the value of business cards if American Psycho has actually taught us nothing else.

These business multi-tools meet a number of the expert’s basic needs: advertising, brand name acknowledgment, call-to-action, and of course contact info. When developed right, these pocket-sized signboards can leave a lasting impression and develop life-long clients from passing complete strangers.
A business card is a small, printed, normally credit-card-sized paper card that holds your organization information, such as name, contact information and brand name logo design. Your business card design is an important part of your branding and ought to act as a visual extension of your brand design.
In this guide, we’ll go through everything you require to know about business card style so you can inform your designer exactly what you want. Business cards must above all be individual, so this guide discusses what your options are for the card that’s most … you.
Before we get into the 8 actions of service card design, let’s talk a little about what you’ll require before you begin.

Before you start …

Whether you’re an individual freelancer, founder of a young start-up, or part of a recognized business, there are 2 important design components you require finalized before you even begin considering business cards:

  • Finished logo design
  • Brand color pattern

Logos and color pattern are the two crucial visual options for branding. Not just will these aspects play a big part in creating your business card, they’ll also help influence other areas like design and identity.
We don’t have time to do these topics justice here, but refer to our previous guides:

  • How to design a logo: the supreme guide
  • Branding colors: whatever you require to choose your brand’s ideal pigments

Know thyself

There’s one other initial activity that makes the rest of the company card design procedure run more efficiently. What do you want your business card to say, not simply with words, but with the style?
This is likewise a topic deserving of its own discussion, so if you want to dive much deeper, here’s a shortlist of concerns to ask yourself for determining your personal brand name identity. Taking a few minutes of reflection about your individual brand name will help with some business card design concerns down the line, especially when it concerns displaying your character.

How to develop a business card in 8 actions

As soon as you have your logo, brand name color pattern, and a good idea of what you want your card to state about you, you’re ready to begin. Simply follow the 8 actions below to determine which business card style would work best for you.
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1. Select your shape.

You can avoid ahead to the second action if you’ve already chosen on a conventional rectangular organization card. If, nevertheless, you want to learn more about all your alternatives, even outside-the-box techniques, keep reading.
As printing techniques grow more sophisticated and economical, professionals have more space to check out alternative shapes. The printing strategy of die-cutting enables you to eliminate any shape you want and still print in bulk.
On the conservative end of the spectrum, you might simply round the corners for a friendlier business card.
If you really desire to be lively or stand-out, you can utilize practically any shape: animal mascots, lays out of items your sell, or a shape that’s wholly original.
You can even construct your whole business card theme around clever cutting. Cireson business card design uses shape to really highlight the worker picture, giving them a more personable and therefore approachable feel.
Whether or not to utilize imaginative shapes depends upon the image you want to convey. Unique shapes make you seem more enjoyable and assist you make an impression, however can have an unfavorable effect on more official industries. You’ll also wish to bear in mind logistics, such as how the card suits a wallet.
You might want to revisit the choice of die-cutting after settling your style in step 6. For instance, some business such as STIR above like to die-cut areas of their logo design.

2. Pick your size.

Your next choice is the size of the card. This mostly depends upon the standard of the nation, so that’s a great location to start. Even if you plan to stick out, you need to understand what everybody else is doing to go against it.

  • North American Requirement: 3.5 × 2 in. (88.9 × 50.8 mm).
  • European Requirement: 3.346 × 2.165 in. (85 × 55 mm).
  • Oceania Requirement: 3.54 × 2.165 in. (90 × 55 mm).

No matter the size, you always wish to consider three factors when developing:.

  • Bleed area: the outermost part of the card likely to be gotten rid of.
  • Cut line: the target line for cutting cards.
  • Safety line: anything outside this line is subject to cutting mistakes. Do not let essential elements like text or logo designs fall outside this line.

While these areas differ depending upon the size and printer, a sure thing is to set the trim line at 0.125 in. (3 mm) from the edge. From there, set the safety line at 0.125 in. (3 mm) from the trim line. That’s 0.250 in (6 mm) total from the edge of the bleed area to the inside of the safety area.

3. Include your logo and other graphics.

Now we begin outlining the visual components of your business card style, foremost and first the logo design. Your logo design needs to take center stage on your business card, although other flourishes and secondary graphics can in some cases be helpful.
Don’t forget that you have 2 sides at your disposal. One strategy is to commit one side of the business card exclusively to the logo design, while the opposite showcases the contact info of the person. It’s likewise excellent to have the logo design on both sides, so typically you’ll see a smaller, isolated logo on the side with contact information, as with Omni above.
This is simply one technique of lots of, however, so do not hesitate to explore logo placement till you discover one for your tastes.
While minimalism is a popular option for business cards, if that empty space doesn’t fit you, you can fill it with extra graphics. In an industry like kids’s clothing, Londees wishes to take its adorable theme as far as it will go: they expand on their sheep mascot by placing sheep doodles all over, and use a faded background to avoid clutter (also observe the use of soft blue, a kid-friendly and playful color). Even if your logo design is simple or text just, any associated imagery serves the very same ends.
Additional graphics work well for showing off your brand name identity. Without explicitly saying it, you can communicate your or your brand’s character through visuals, consisting of colors. If you desire to seem friendly or casual, a cute cartoon and some bright colors would do the trick.
Another increasingly popular pattern is to instill interest and interest by leaving a little mystery. Normally, brands position a wordless visual with a URL on one side, and after that all the required description (consisting of brand and staff member’s name) on the other.

4. Include necessary text.

What your organization card actually states depends on you. The point is, various individuals benefit from various text on their business cards.
The next action is for you to choose what to put on your service card. Below is a list of some typical choices, so you can choose which to consist of and exclude.

  • Call— A provided. Every card needs a name.
  • Business name— Another given, except for individual brand names, in which case your personal name is your business name.
  • Job title— For standard cards, include your task title. This also helps advise the holder of who you are, what you do, and even how your fulfilled.
  • Contact number— Even if phone is not your favored approach of communication, it is to some people.
  • Email— A business card staple; email is the brand-new norm for non-urgent organization interactions, partly because it allows sending out documents as attachments.
  • Site URL Including your site URL is a non-aggressive invitation for check outs.
  • Social network If social media relates to your field, or you just wish to show a little bit of your character, consist of social media links.
  • Address— Needed for drawing consumers into your workplace or shop location.
  • QR code— While not as popular as years past, a QR code is still a feasible shortcut to transferring whatever data you desire.
  • Motto— Totally optional, a motto helps with brand name identity and includes a little personality.

Keep in mind that business cards aren’t just about providing details however likewise retaining it. Individuals may currently understand your url, number, or address, however keep your card helpful in case they forget it.

5. Select your typography.

You can pick how it looks when you understand what you desire to state. While typography is always crucial, it’s specifically important to business cards given that you need to make text completely legible and have just a little space to work with.
Let’s separate typography into three primary categories:.
You desire your most crucial components (like your name) to stand out, so feel totally free to differ the text sizes. Think about empty space– you do not want to clutter your card, so leave your text little enough that there’s plenty of breathing room around each component.
Font. We’ve currently spoken at length about fonts and how they affect your brand name identity, so do not hesitate to have a look at The 5 kinds of fonts and how to utilize them for a more thorough treatment. Simply keep in mind to choose a font style that represents the character you’re going for. A tidy and contemporary sans-serif, an individualistic and elegant script or a classic and timeless serif typeface? Below are some examples of what various font style designs give the table.
Color. Here’s where a pre-existing brand name color scheme can be found in convenient. Staying on-brand, pick text colors that complement the background color of your card, which need to also be a brand name color. Comparable colors might look nice together but can be hard to check out, so experiment with contrasts for legibility.
The principle for typography is to prioritize legibility over all else. It doesn’t matter how artistic your font style is if nobody can read what it states.

6. Consider unique surfaces.

Now that you’re reaching the last stretch, it’s time to start considering printers– specifically in regards to what they can use. Specific printers provide unique finishes that can go a long way in making a long lasting impression. See if any of these “special effects” can benefit your business card design method.
Embossing. This strategy develops three-dimensional reliefs, ensuring areas “pop out.” Like area UV finish, you can use it to accentuate specific elements of your card, even words.
Letterpressing. Instead of raising the paper, letterpress printing presses the paper down while inking it. The outcome is something like an engravement, generally with unique ink to draw further attention. Particularly beneficial for letters, providing your words a heightened gravitas.
Foil marking. If you want something glossy and reflective like tin foil, you can apply foil marking to images or perhaps simply parts of images. This also works for accenting text, if you’ve chosen a vibrant adequate typeface.
Spot UV finishing. A great deal of cards have a sleek varnish to create a sheen and smooth texture. Spot UV covering is the same thing, except only applied to particular locations. That implies you can use a gloss on just your logo, specific graphics, or even a word or expression. Use it when you wish to accent particular locations over others, but bear in mind how it impacts the total composition when only a part is glossy.

7. Pick a designer.

If you really want an outstanding business card, it’s a great idea to discover a professional designer who can develop the perfect card for you. You can search for a regional freelance designer or search on a platform like Alpha Print for a designer with the ideal design and experience. Make certain to check out their portfolio to see if they’re a great suitable for your brand.
As soon as you have actually found the ideal person, attempt to communicate clearly what your organization is everything about and what design and ambiance you are searching for, so your designer can turn your vision into reality.
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8. Settle your design.

With all the aspects in place and an accurate prediction of your last color choices and special surfaces, you can reevaluate your style to ensure whatever works.
Initially, take a look at the visual flow: how does your eye move when taking a look at the card. What do you observe? Last? An excellent visual circulation must begin with the logo, then the name, and then the secondary information, completing on any secondary images if they’re there. You can always alter and enhance the visual flows by changing a component’s size and area.
You likewise wish to clear out as much mess as you can. Is all the information required? The less the staying components, the more impact each makes.
Double-check to make sure you didn’t fall into any typical mistakes. Do the colors clash?
Do not forget to have your designer send you the completed item as a vector file and a vector-based PDF. You want to utilize vector images in case you need to change the size, and PDFs are legible by virtually every printer.

Advanced methods

These eight actions are all you need to create a fully functional business card, however if you wish to go above and beyond, think about these more advanced ideas:.
Stand out with a clever idea. If your industry enables some whimsy, you can employ more experimental strategies for separating yourself.
This could be something thematic, like Saleular’s iPhone cards, or something more intricate. For instance:.

  • fragrant inks.
  • duplexing and triplexing (doubling or tripling the card’s width to make it thicker).
  • utilizing alternate materials (metal, plastic, rubber, and so on).
  • folded cards.
  • transparent cards.

That last pattern we’re seeing a great deal of lately, and for good factor. There’s a lot you can do with a see-through card, like Remote Pilot’s mock pilot scope.
Avoid borders. Borders might seem like a smart aesthetic choice to frame the material of your card– and they are, in theory– but the frequency of cutting mistakes implies borders do more harm than excellent. Cutting every single card perfectly in a bulk order is basically a fantasy, and that’s why it’s best to design with bleed and safety locations. With borders, tiny errors in cutting are exaggerated and bring down the entire style.
Save money on colors. Don’t skimp on products or the quantity if you’re working on a budget. You can eliminate a chunk of the expense just by using only one or two colors. The more colors you add, the more the cost goes up, and a smart designer will know how to make one or more colors look just as excellent.

Takeaway: a modern coat of arms.

Your card is more than just your contact details– it’s a representation of you and your brand name. Do not cut corners with creating your company card.
There’s one other initial activity that makes the rest of the business card design process run more smoothly. What do you desire your service card to state, not just with words, but with the style?
See if any of these “special results” can benefit your service card design strategy.
If you truly want a stellar company card, it’s an excellent concept to find an expert designer who can produce the ideal card for you. Don’t cut corners with developing your company card.

Business cards are cards bearing organization information about a company or individual. They are shared during official intros as a memory and a convenience help. A business card generally consists of the provider’s business, name or business association (usually with a logo) and contact info such as street addresses, phone number(s), fax number, e-mail addresses and site. Before the development of electronic communication business cards may also include telex details. Now they may include social networks addresses such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Traditionally, many cards were basic black text on white stock, and the unique look of cards printed from an etched plate was a desirable sign of professionalism. In the late 20th century, technological advances drove modifications in style, and today an expert organization card will frequently include several elements of striking visual design.

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